now you know
My intimate knowlege of dog period smell is my parents' fault. We had a dog named Charlotte. I named her. I loved her more than my brother and sister. She slept by the floor of my bed. She also got her period. To save money, the parents decided not to fix her. They would, instead, just put up with drops of doggie blood on the hardwoods four times a year. And four times a year, we would all put up with the horrible smell of a swelling doggie private.
After Charlotte died, I was in the backyard on a spring day, and I swore her ghost was swirling above my head. It smelled just like her “time of the year” and I was so freaked out by it that I called my mom out to witness the phantom scent. She smelled it, too. Then we realized we were standing beneath a Bradford pear tree. The phantom dog-in-heat smell could be blamed on the lacy white, delicate blossoms. Damn those blossoms.
In college, there were Bradford pear trees on campus. Each spring, the street in front of Memorial Union would come to life with impatients and tulips and groundcover, and the Bradford pears would bloom. And I avoided them.
I like to look at Bradford pear trees but when a wind storm, a heavy rain or a blanket of snow gets the best of one, toppling it to the ground, I laugh a little. Because when something so beautiful smells so rancid, it's funny to wonder what God was thinking.